Multiple media reports say University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly, who won the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night over Kansas State, is close to reaching an agreement to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns, ex-Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren’s former team. For fans of the Washington Huskies, this amounts to the single greatest piece of news in more than a decade, better even than the hiring of Steve Sarkisian in 2009, or beating Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl two years ago.
Under the 49-year-old Kelly, the Ducks have gone 46-7 over the past four years, have owned the Pac-10/12 Conference and have utterly dominated Washington, winning every game Kelly coached (Washington has not defeated Oregon sine 2003). With Kelly remaining as Oregon’s head coach, this negative trend isn’t likely to change, relegating Washington to second-tier status in the Northwest.
But with Kelly apparently moving on to the NFL, Washington, which has been unable to compete with the Ducks since Kelly came aboard, will finally have an opportunity – although no guarantee — to return to the exalted status it once enjoyed.
Washington fans won’t like to hear it, but Kelly’s tenure at Oregon has been far more impressive, from a won-loss perspective, and a high-quality bowl perspective, than the Don James era at Washington, considered the best in modern UW annals.
As matters stand, Washington cannot successfully compete in football with Oregon. But with Kelly moving to the NFL, the Huskies might have a chance at returning to the elite of Pac-12 programs.
It crossed my mind, reluctantly, that Oregon’s sustained success has been better and more accomplished than anything authored by Owens or James during their combined tenures. Oregon has maintained a higher nationwide ranking than any Husky era rankings. And I hate the Ducks. But, they have accomplished a lot in a fairly short period of time and have sustained it. My fear is that their dominance will continue beyond Kelly.
you’re darn tootin’ it will brother! but, this duck fan still sees Don James’ single national championship to be the signal achievement and thus surpassing our entire run. we have been close, and know how it feels. but dawg fans know what it is to win the championship. nothing else compares, really. i believe every knowledgeable duck fan knows this. i first started watching duck – dawg games when the quarterbacks were fouts and sixkiller. we still revere and envy you for your championship,. but we don’t miss the rivalry on the field. dominating y’all makes us feel better than winning the rose bowl. believe it. happy new year!
well, steve is right, it’s be good news for Husky fans if he leaves. Now it’s time to whack em with sanctions. i wonder if ‘chip’ knows something.
I wonder if Kelly ever talked with Mike Riley on what it’s like to coach in the NFL? Or Dennis Erickson? College success doesn’t always translate into pro success. Sometimes, but not always. IMO, he should stay at Oregon since he’s a success there. Or are there sanctions on the horizon and he wants to get out while the going is good?
He should go to Arizona since he’s already familiar with how Harbaugh and Carroll coach.
Last 11 seasons UW hasn’t won more than 7 games total or 5 in conference. Why would their fan base or program worry about what’s happening in Eugene? Try a mirror first then concern yourselves with any other of the 119 D1 programs. Once elite, Husky football has become 2nd division within this conference.
Pretty sad the once proud Huskies consider Oregon’s coach a major key to them being a power in the PAC12.
Nice try. Oregon will be even better next year. With 19 out of 22 offensive players returning (two-deep), and with the promotion of Helfrich to Head Coach, Ducks won’t miss a beat and will continue to pound the Fuskies.
Whether Kelly leaves Oregon or not, it won’t be due to possible sanctions or going to an NFC West team. It will be for the M-O-N-E-Y. Let’s not kid ourselves, and it will likely be to Cleveland or Philadelphia.
Don James was never bankrolled by Nike, best team money can buy!